We all have our indulgences that make life a little more bearable. However, some of those indulgences lead to out-of-control behavior that ends up being worse for us in the long run. It is hard to admit that some of the things we do could be considered an addiction.
Especially when they are actions we don’t associate with addiction. For example, shopping. Shopping is a pretty basic thing that everyone does. However, in some cases, this indulgence becomes quite dangerous.
Why Do We Get Addicted To Shopping?
Having a shopping addiction is probably one of the more difficult things for people to admit having. When someone has a shopping addiction, they find themselves constantly looking for the best deal. This thrill of finding something at a good deal is often the primary cause behind shopping addictions.
However, it isn’t the only cause of this problem. It can become a much more layered problem that goes way beneath the surface!
For some of us, shopping is a relief from our problems. We have a bad day or have something happen to us and we find ourselves in a store scanning the shelves for something to make us feel better. In the modern age, online shopping is also a huge problem for emotional shoppers as they can simply log-on and click away. The act of shopping literally becomes a motion to fill an emotional void.
Whether you find yourself shopping to find better deals or shopping for emotional support, there are ways to break the bad habit of shopping. It is critical to attempt methods of helping an addiction to shop. Often times, getting addicted to shopping leads to other issues in our lives.
We tend to have problems with our finances, our credit scores, and our personal relationships. It can be hard to face the music about these situations, but the importance of trying to break our shopping habits will seriously improve these problems that are associated with shopping too much.
How To Stop Shopping: 10 Ways To Break Your Shopping Habit
In order to keep our sanity in check, our relationships healthy, and our bank accounts from groaning too much it is crucial to make changes. Nothing just stops immediately overnight, there has to be some work and effort put into it. While it is a hard journey, it is an important one! Below are 10 ways to break your crippling shopping problem!
1. Hit That “Unsubscribe” Button!
Shopping impulsively is a problem that becomes even more compounded by retailer emails. They love marketing their sales in an endless matter and our email inboxes get stuffed full of ads to sort through. Hitting the unsubscribe button to your favorite retailer is a big step in helping a shopping problem.
The less you see about their sales, the less inclined you will be to head to their website or store to spend money.
2. Consider Donating Old Items
With shopping habits, things tend to pile up…and pile up again and again. This leads to some cramped closet space or dresser space that could be better used. Considering donating clothing that you aren’t going to wear.
Doing this requires a lot of mental willpower because a lot of the issues behind bad shopping habits is that we feel that “we’ll use it someday”. Being honest with ourselves and realizing that the items we have overbought and never used can go to someone who would not only appreciate it but also use the items!
3. Only Buy What You Need
Once a closet or dresser or another area of your home has been cleared of overbought items, it is easier to see what you actually have. Seeing your essential items can aid in helping you make better decisions when it comes to shopping.
For example, if it is clothing, only buy what you need to complete an outfit. This ensures that you are buying what you actually need over just buying any piece of clothing you might lay your eyes on.
4. Be Honest About Makes You Shop
The solution to any problem lies within what causes the problem in the first place. Being honest about what drives you to shop can help shape your mentality about shopping altogether. Habit shopping tends to transpire from stress, work, personal relationships, etc.
Once you’ve considered what your root cause is, it is then time to face that cause and change up the environment. This takes a lot of guts and drive but honestly, it is good for your shopping problem and your overall mental health as well.
5. Figure Out What’s Really Important To You
Life isn’t easy for anyone but something else we all have in common is that we have things that are important to us. Things like family, our jobs, etc. Determining what is truly important to you can give some insight into how you are shopping.
Shopping shouldn’t be the most important thing in your life. It should be something that you do for some enjoyment or basic needs, but not something that is all-consuming. That is when shopping becomes dangerous. Figure out the important things to you and attempt to spend more time on those things.
6. Track Your Shopping
When a shopping habit gets out of control, it can be hard to focus on what is being spent or bought. As a result, we often find ourselves feeling guilty…or in some cases clueless. Using a spreadsheet or a basic notebook, track all of your shopping.
Just how much are you spending? What exactly are you buying?
This presents the cold, hard facts of the habit. Being faced with large numbers and indulgent buys can be a big awakening for some people. Realizing the impact you are having on your finances can aid in curbing your habit. There’s always money that could have been saved up or spent elsewhere.
7. Use Only Cash
Using cash seems a little old-fashioned…and well that’s because it is! We tend to spend less when we have physical cash because we can literally see the money downsizing as we spend it. This isn’t an illusion so to speak, it is a reality of realizing what you are spending and developing a better way to manage your money.
Every payday set aside a certain cash amount to spend. This “limited-budget” helps you learn money management and keeps your shopping issue at bay.
8. Reach Out To Someone You Trust
It is hard for those of us with a shopping problem to admit the problem at all. However, once implementing some of these tips, the path is paved with a better future. Accountability is a large part of being a responsible adult. Sometimes, we need help getting to this stage.
Reaching out to someone you trust to talk about your problem is an essential step in your recovery. This person should be able to guide you away from impulsive buying and help you see the difference between “want” and “need”. Their honesty can help build your own accountability!
9. Get Rid Of Your Credit Cards
Credit card debt is a huge problem for a lot of people, not just shopaholics. However, they pose a bigger problem for those with bad spending habits. Swiping a card or entering a card number online is so ridiculously easy that it really leads to bad decisions.
In fact, they are the main driver behind expensive impulsive buys. Focus on paying down any debts you have and get rid of the credit card! Whether you cut them up or hide them, it is important to make them less accessible. Open a saving account to put up money for any unforeseen emergencies.
10. Don’t Sign Up For A Retail Credit Card
Retail credit cards are a trap to get people to spend more money in the store. It might be tempting to save that 10% or so on your purchase, at the time of buying, but in the long run, it leads to trouble. These types of credit cards only encourage people to buy impulsively instead of making conscious decisions about their spending.
Part of breaking any spending habit is acquiring accountability and maintaining accountability. If you are signing up for retail credit cards just to save a few dollars, this is not in the best interest of maintaining accountability!
The Benefits Of Shopping Less
Spending habits derive from emotional points in our lives. Depression, anger, sadness, etc are all common associations with those who form these habits. One of the biggest benefits of shopping less is the relief and happiness it can bring. This is not only true for yourself but also for your loved ones.
Often times, our loved ones are the people who see the consequences of our spending habits before we do. Sometimes, spending habits can lead to unpaid bills or racked up credit debt. Nothing good ever comes of these issues.
Besides emotional relief, what other benefits are there to spending less? Below are key benefits to keeping more money in your pocket!
Benefits Of Shopping Less
You have more money for more important things, like saving for a house, car, or emergencies, etc.
Your credit score improves. Having an average or above-average credit score has plenty of benefits!
Your living space is less cluttered. More clutter usually leads to emotional distress. If you’re already experiencing an emotional issue that is causing you to spend money, clutter certainly won’t help!
You’ll reach your goals easier. Setting goals is an essential part of getting the most out of our lives. When we spend less, we can reach those goals much easier!
You will have more control over your life. When a spending habit gets out of hand, sometimes, a total loss of control can occur in your life. When you learn to spend less, you regain this control!
Shopping can be a fun way to get new things or spend time with a loved one. However, when shopping becomes an issue and starts causing debt, relationship issues, anxiety, or guilt, it needs to be addressed! Anyone with a spending habit can break their habits and lead a healthier, happier life!